Well, it finally happened. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy has often found himself the target of criticism over the last few years, and this season proved to be the tipping point. The Packers were one of the favourites in the NFC early in the year, with Tony Romo even predicted them to face the Jaguars in the Super Bowl. Now, Jacksonville hasn’t been great either so maybe there’s some sort of Romo Curse, but that’s not the point right now. With the Mike McCarthy era in Green Bay coming to an end, let’s look back on his time in charge of the Packers.
While the guys here at Bench Life are all Canadian, we still take the time to acknowledge American Thanksgiving for one very important reason: a full day of NFL football. It basically becomes an unofficial holiday for all of the NFL fans north of the border anyways, so in honour of our favourite not-a-real-holiday, let’s take a look back at everything that happened over Week 12 in the NFL, including everything from Thanksgiving Day.
Add Justin Tucker to the list of kickers who have missed easy kicks this season. The Ravens kicker was 222 for 222 on extra point attempts in his career, so surely he would be able to convert the extra point to tie the game against the Saints, right?
Wrong. Read more
As Eli Manning’s career is winding down, he’s starting to look more and more like his older brother Peyton did by the end of his. The only issue is that Eli doesn’t have an absolutely stacked defense to carry him to one last Super Bowl win before he hangs up the cleats for good. Instead, Manning is caught in the middle of a team torn between trying to rebuild and trying to compete in the NFC East. The Giants are not a good team, but they’ve committed money to some elite players, most notably Odell Beckham, Jr. They also have a star rookie running back in Saquon Barkley who already looks deserving of Todd Gurley and Le’Veon Bell comparisons.
Despite those few bright spots, things in New York are getting worse by the week. Last week, Beckham decided to take the offense into his own hands and throw the ball himself.
The NFL was treated with a glimpse into the future in Week 15, as the Patriots and Steelers met in Pittsburgh in a matchup that we’ll likely see again in the AFC Championship game. Over his career, Tom Brady has been dominant against the Steelers, owning a 11-2 record against them. However, things seemed different heading into this game. Pittsburgh held the top spot in the conference, and the Patriots looked underwhelming in their Week 14 loss to the Dolphins. The underwhelming play from New England continued in this game, and the Steelers built up a 17-10 lead by halftime. But once again, Brady showed why he’s considered the greatest, leading the Patriots to a 11 point 4th quarter, including a 5 play 77 yard drive that took just 1:10 to take a 27-24 lead. The Steelers still had some time, and it looked like they had scored a late-game touchdown of their own.
Gone are the days of Thursday Night Football just being for Thanksgiving. Instead, we’re stuck with boring Thursday games all season long. But now, with the season winding down these games are finally starting to mean something, and Thanksgiving Football brought along plenty of excitement this year.
First, the Vikings held on to beat the Lions 30-23, although the game didn’t end without some controversy. It looked like the Lions had tied the game after blocking and returning a Kai Forbath field goal attempt for a touchdown which would have brought them within an extra point of tying the game. But it was all for nothing, as the refs called Darius Slay for jumping offside before blocking the kick, allowing the Vikings to take a knee to end the game. With the win, the Vikings moved to 9-2 and have complete control of the NFC North.